Half of Britain victimised by cyber crooks

October 24th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

cyber crime 300x223 Half of Britain victimised by cyber crooksHalf of the UK have been victims of cyber crime! According to a new report.

Well, they say ‘half’, but based on a survey of 2000 web users, 51% said they’d been affected by online scams, phishing, ID theft or some pesky virus.

The report by the Get Safe Online organisation, also said that many victims are left emotionally scarred by the experience.

Which is about right. You DO feel a bit vulnerable and freaked out that some arse has buggered your online-scene up.

Half of the victims said they felt violated by their ordeal and rued clicking on that link for free glans/baps (delete as appropriate). Only 14% of the affected felt they’d achieved any kind of redress after the matter either.

Also, a report by the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau, released to coincide with Get Safe Online Week, claimed that online scams raked in £670m between 1 September 2013 and 31 August 2014.

However an upshot of all this, has meant that those who have been violated then got heavy with web protection and not being so free and easy with their online behaviour.

Tony Neate, chief executive of Get Safe Online reckons this, by saying “Get Safe Online Week this year is all about ‘Don’t be a victim’, and we can all take simple steps to protect ourselves, including putting a password on your computer or mobile device, never clicking on a link sent by a stranger, using strong passwords and always logging off from an account or website when you’re finished.”

“The more the public do this, and together with better conviction rates, the more criminals won’t be able to hide behind a cloak of anonymity.”

Meanwhile Minister for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude threw his weight in and said the figures underlined the importance of doing everything possible to shore up the UK’s cyber defences, saying: “The UK cyber market is worth over £80bn a year and rising. The internet is undoubtedly a force for good, but we cannot stand still in the face of these threats, which already cost our economy billions every year.”

“We have an £860m Cyber Security Programme which supports law enforcement’s response to cybercrime, and we are working with the private sector to help all businesses protect vital information assets.”

Apple admit that iCloud has been compromised

October 23rd, 2014 2 Comments By Ian Wade

apple icloud 300x260 Apple admit that iCloud has been compromisedApple have ‘fessed up about iCloud accounts being compromised by fake log-in pages. This follows an incident wherein Chinese users’ account names and passwords were requested by suspect looking web pages.

After all that celebrity nude action a couple of weeks ago, Apple came up with a two-password verification system to try and increase security.

Alas, reports of organised password phishing syndicates harvesting user information via fake iCloud pages emerged, and Apple had to come clean and say it’s a thing.

A statement released on Apple’s support page has confirmed that these phishers were stealing accounts and passwords, but that remained the dimensions of it. There was no further information as to when these happenings occurred or the severity of them.

Apple have helpfully told users to only use sites if there’s a padlock handy. On the site’s address bar, not around your neck.

They said: “We’re aware of intermittent organised network attacks using insecure certificates to obtain user information, and we take this very seriously. These attacks don’t compromise iCloud servers, and they don’t impact iCloud sign in on iOS devices or Macs running OS X Yosemite using the Safari browser.”

“The iCloud website is protected with a digital certificate. Users should never enter their Apple ID or password into a website that presents a certificate warning.”

Last month, Apple chief executive Tim Cook admitted that Apple could do more to inform users how to make their iCloud accounts more secure, but was too pre-occupied with flogging new tat than being helpful.

MasterCard really want to see those fingers

October 20th, 2014 1 Comment By Ian Wade

zwipe 300x200 MasterCard really want to see those fingersMasterCard are trialling a contactless card with fingerprint reader.

The credit card giant are doing tests to see if a fingerprint function would work instead of a PIN number.

The company unveiled the protoype, which they developed in conjunction with Norwegian company Zwipe, who invented the fingerprint technology.

The contactless payment card has an integrated fingerprint sensor and a secure data store for the cardholder’s biometric data, which is held only on the card and not in an external database, the companies said.

The card also has an EMV chip, used in European payment cards instead of a magnetic stripe to increase payment security, and a MasterCard application to allow contactless payments.

The card is currently thicker than the usual ones, as it will have a battery in it to make it work, however Zwipe plan to eliminate the battery and make it the same as other cards, once they’ve started harnessing energy from contactless terminals.

As the fingerprint authentication is quite unique, there’s no limit on contactless payments, whereas other contactless cards have limits in them so that bad people can’t use them to buy diamonds.

Norwegian bank Sparebanken DIN has already tested the Zwipe card, and plans to offer biometric authentication and contactless communication for all its cards apparently.

Hands up if you want Mastercard to store your fingerprints?

Facebook and Apple offering frozen egg service

October 16th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

Mildly creepy news now, as Apple and Facebook are offering to freeze eggs for female employees.

In an interesting approach to try and expand their appeal for more females on their workforce, Apple said it would offer the perk to US-based staff from January.

“Apple cares deeply about our employees and their families, and we are always looking at new ways our health programmes can meet their needs,” said the company.

“We continue to expand our benefits for women, with a new extended maternity leave policy, along with cyropreservation and egg storage as part of our extensive support for infertility treatments … We want to empower women at Apple to do the best work of their lives as they care for loved ones and raise their families.”

It all sounds a bit Demon Seed really.

This, and other initiatives are said to be the doing of new human resources head Denise Young Smith, who is all for diversity and that. Facebook offers up to $20,000 (£13,000) for egg freezing for female employees. The company also offers adoption and surrogacy assistance.

Of course, they won’t actually be using the eggs to experiment on and try and build the first Google Child. That’s not going to happen. Oh no.

Dropbox: nearly seven million accounts hacked

October 14th, 2014 2 Comments By Ian Wade

Dropbox Logo 580 75 300x168 Dropbox: nearly seven million accounts hackedNearly seven million Dropbox accounts have been hacked.

The latest in the long line of unending hackery was spotted after hackers were able to get at logins and passwords via a third party affair.

Hackers leaked 400 accounts onto site Pastebin, claiming to make the remaining 6.9 million hacked accounts available to users in return for Bitcoin donations, according to The Next Web.

The post threatened that 6.9 million Dropbox accounts had been hacked, including photos, videos and other files.

Obviously Dropbox don’t want to be seen as quite so vulnerable and so dismissed it, claiming: “These usernames and passwords were unfortunately stolen from other services and used in attempts to log in to Dropbox accounts.

“We’d previously detected these attacks and the vast majority of the passwords posted have been expired for some time now. All other remaining passwords have been expired as well.”

Dropbox reckon that the service consistently expiries passwords for accounts that are being attacked, but could not provide a number of accounts that expired recently.

The news comes as wasteman Edward Snowden claims individuals who care about their privacy should “get rid of Dropbox”, counting it among the services that are “hostile to privacy.”

Either way, Dropbox should change their company logo from ‘your stuff, anywhere’, to ‘your stuff, bloody everywhere’.

Snappening: Snapchat leak is real

October 13th, 2014 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

snapchat 300x300 Snappening: Snapchat leak is realThe Snapchat nudes leak is a real thing, now dubbed ‘The Snappening’ after the iCloud leak was referred to as ‘The Fappening’.

Videos and images of around 200,000 people, which were stored on a third party website, have been put online. This time, it doesn’t just focus on celebrities.

It appears the third party site in question is Snapsaved.com, which allows users to grab a screenshot of the Snapchat images that usually expire after a few seconds.

Snapsaved appears to have saved not only the images, but also, the users’ login details so that, in the torrent that stores all the images, you can search for images under people’s usernames. This third party is not to be confused with Snapsave, which only stores images on the phone of the user.

4chan, as ever, were the ones to announce the 13 gigabytes of images, but one of the problems here is that much of the content could be from underage users, meaning that anyone who distributes the photos or hosts them, could be in legal trouble for hosting child porn or sexual images of minors.

In a statement, Snapchat said that: “We can confirm that Snapchat’s servers were never breached and were not the source of these leaks. Snapchatters were victimised by their use of third party apps to send and receive Snaps, a practice that we explicitly prohibit in our terms of use precisely because they compromise our users’ security.”

Snapchat hacked: Prepare the n00dz

October 10th, 2014 2 Comments By Mof Gimmers

snapchat 300x300 Snapchat hacked: Prepare the n00dzAfter the huge celebrity leak of photos, dubbed ‘The Fappening’, looks like we’re due ‘The Snappening’ as rumours abound that hackers have got a load of Snapchat photos and plan release all the mucky, naked ones that match with usernames.

They’ll be available on October 12th on a torrent.

According to reports, the hackers have a 13GB library of snaps from a third-party app which allows users to save Snapchats without the sender knowing.

Snapchat know about the leak: “We can confirm that Snapchat’s servers were never breached and were not the source of these leaks. Snapchatters were victimized by their use of third-party apps to send and receive Snaps, a practice that we expressly prohibit in our Terms of Use precisely because they compromise our users’ security. We vigilantly monitor the App Store and Google Play for illegal third-party apps and have succeeded in getting many of these removed.”

Snapchat are deflecting blame away from themselves, but if they were really vigilant, they should’ve got third party apps removed from app stores or something.

What should worry people though is that a lot of young people use Snapchat, which means anyone looking at any potential leaks could basically be looking at compromising images of underage kids.

Spamwatch: Emma Watson

October 10th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

emma watson sofia vergara 300x156 Spamwatch: Emma WatsonPoor old Emma Watson – she’s become the latest front for an internet virus.

Ads claiming to have nudey footage of the Harry Potter star are actually trojans riddled with malware.

Serves you right if you’re that type of person into leaked celebrity baps to be honest.

Bitdefender’s cooly-named Chief Security Strategist, Catalin Cosoi, told Digital Spy: “It all starts with a Facebook comment promising to reveal private or leaked videos of Emma Watson”.

“The comments are automatically posted by users infected with the malware. As is the case with many Facebook scams, victims end up as marketers for cyber-crooks.”

“When users click on the malicious links, they are redirected to a salacious YouTube copycat. Future victims are then asked to update their Flash Player to the latest secured version of Video Player, as an error allegedly prevents them from watching the leaked videos of Emma Watson.”

As if you needed reminding, trojan malware is a bastard, and will rifle through your computer for anything stealable.

Disguised by the Flash Player icon, Trojan downloads the infected components into computer files. The videos themselves are hosted by a fake YouTube account, identified by the Anonymous Guy Fawkes avatar in the left hand corner.

So anyway. Norks on the internet. More harm than good.

Facebook says sorry to drag queens

October 2nd, 2014 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

Bitterwallet Facebook censorship Facebook says sorry to drag queensFacebook have been tinkering again, and decided at some point that it was bad that people were using their services with their nicknames, rather than their real name.

So that means Pele would have to be on Facebook as Edson Arantes do Nascimento and anyone who is better known by their nickname would have to go under their real name. Looking at you David Bowie.

One of the things that caused controversy around this was the fact that drag queens were getting rough-housed into using their birth names and, of course, an simpleton can see why that would be a sensitive issue. There was a campaign to change the policy after a group of drag queens and LGBT groups pointed out that this ‘real name’ rule could well compromise the privacy, health and safety of many, including people surviving domestic violence and immigrants.

And Facebook, after a lot of people shouting at them, finally saw it from another point of view and apologised.

They said the whole thing was a big misunderstanding and that, after a meeting, Chief Product Officer Chris Cox issued an apology on his own Facebook page.

“In the two weeks since the real-name policy issues surfaced, we’ve had the chance to hear from many of you in these communities and understand the policy more clearly as you experience it. We’ve also come to understand how painful this has been. We owe you a better service and a better experience using Facebook, and we’re going to fix the way this policy gets handled so everyone affected here can go back to using Facebook as you were.”

“Our policy has never been to require everyone on Facebook to use their legal name,” he added. “The spirit of our policy is that everyone on Facebook uses the authentic name they use in real life.”

Bitterwallet Facebook censorship Facebook will now follow you around throwing ads at youUpgrade your ad blockers, for Facebook’s ads are now going to start stalking you on the internet.

Starting today, Facebook will use data it gathers from the users for its new ad network, Atlas, which it will serve up ads on non-Facebook sites based on what Facebook knows about you.

Atlas was a Microsoft thing that Facebook scooped up last year to the tune of $100 million. Facebook have tinkered a bit with it a bit, but Atlas is a bit like Google’s AdWords, which will let advertisers follow users across the web and mobile devices.

According to a blog post from Atlas’ head, Erik Johnson: ”Cookies don’t work on mobile, are becoming less accurate in demographic targeting and can’t easily or accurately measure the customer purchase funnel across browsers and devices or into the offline world.”

Let us all enjoy that once again; “customer purchase funnel.

This opens a hellmouth of new opportunities for online advertising, with Atlas acting as an alternative to Google ads. Feel free to add your own ‘do bears shit in the woods’ sentiments in the comments below.

People exchange their kids for free WiFi

September 30th, 2014 1 Comment By Mof Gimmers

stupid children 214x300 People exchange their kids for free WiFiSix fully grown humans who should know better agreed to give their children away in exchange for free WiFi. Have they been arrested and the kids taken off into care?

No.

That’s because this was some kind of social experiment where researchers set up a WiFi hotspot in London which had a lengthy t&c section.

The terms contained a “deliberately ridiculous” term which, if you’d read, said that in return for the free access to the internet, the individual using the service was prepared to “render up their eldest child for the duration of eternity”.

The report is called ‘Tainted Love: How Wi-Fi Betrays Us’ by security and privacy company F-Secure. It states that, regarding people allowing their children to be given up for eternity: ”Despite this, six people decided that it was a fair exchange and signed up.”

Hopefully, the researchers will see the clause out in scenes akin to the baby being fought for in Ghostbusters 2. Hopefully they’ll have a massive magic oil painting too.

The report concluded: “Our results illustrate the very real problem of the modern world which is that – while massively dependent on the technology – the population is unaware of its capabilities for surveillance and intrusion into their lives. The problem is that people implicitly trust their technology and are not aware of the implications of that trust.”

“There is an insatiable pursuit of bandwidth, driven mainly by the desire to have video, data-rich apps and super-fast website performance on the move.”

“This appetite for bandwidth has blinded consumers to the risks that they are taking. In pursuit of free bandwidth, people are prepared to do anything as our experiment showed with its draconian terms and conditions.”

In fairness, the six people involved might have really quite horrible children. You just don’t know do you? Have you met some of them? They can be infuriating.

TL;DR – Breaking news: People don’t read terms and conditions on anything, ever.

eBay phishing scam exposed

September 19th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

eBay have been having a right old time of it lately.

They’ve now been hit by online badmen who’ve been phishing and rinsing unsuspecting customers for their usernames and passwords, by placing fake item listings and redirecting users to external sites.

According to a BBC report, it was brought to attention by an eBay PowerSeller who thought something was a bit fishy about an iPhone 5 listing that took him to a weird address.

He’s also provided a video about, bless him.

The IT professional told the BBC: “It’s guaranteed – you can bet your bottom dollar that somebody’s going to click on that and be redirected to a third-party site and they’re going to enter their details and be compromised.

“You don’t know how many of the hundreds of thousands of people who use eBay will have done that.”

eBay have removed the listings, but it’s likely to be the tip of a vast iceberg, as it tries to find out how many people had been fooled by it. It’s the last thing eBay need, having had a dozen service crashes this year already.

But anyway. Keep ‘em peeled.

Apple make tool to delete U2′s album

September 16th, 2014 2 Comments By Mof Gimmers

Deleting music from your iTunes should be pretty easy, but the hoo-hah as been so loud about U2 appearing on people’s devices without being asked, Apple have had to make a token gesture.

Some of the more hysterical sorts have been screaming their lungs through their noses with things like “IF THEY CAN PUT A U2 ALBUM IN EVERYONE’S PHONE, IMAGINE WHAT ELSE THEY CAN PUT IN THERE?!?!?! AAAAARGH!!!!” while other people have shrugged and thought ‘nice idea, but I don’t like U2.’

Well, Apple have released a new tool which allows people to remove U2′s new album from their iTunes library with greater ease.

u2 albumn Apple make tool to delete U2s album

While it was always possible to remove the album yourself, this new thing is a one-click job, which means that should appease a few lunatics out there.

Apple have also set up a support website to guide people through this difficult time.

5 million Gmail adresses and passwords dumped online

September 11th, 2014 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

gmail logo stylized 300x300 5 million Gmail adresses and passwords dumped onlineNearly 5 million Gmail addresses and plain text passwords was posted on a forum this week, which is a massive pain in the arse for someone – probably the person who has to answer questions at Google about security breaches and the like.

Someone called ‘tvskit’ posted the archive file on a Bitcoin security forum called btcsec.com, which you can imagine, is a riotous read and will keep you entertained for literally seconds. They reckon that over 60% of the credentials in the file are valid.

“We can’t confirm that it is indeed as much as 60%, but a great amount of the leaked data is legitimate,” said Peter Kruse, the chief technology officer of CSIS Security Group. “We believe the data doesn’t originate from Google directly. Instead it’s likely it comes from various sources that have been compromised.”

What that means is, Google haven’t been hacked, but rather, accounts on other sites where people have used their Gmail addresses as the user name have been obtained.

Google said: “The security of our users is of paramount importance to us. We have no evidence that our systems have been compromised, but whenever we become aware that an account has been compromised, we take steps to help our users secure their accounts.”

In conclusion, here’s the usual ‘you might want to change your password on sites where you’ve used your Gmail address as a user name’ advice.

Fappening: Apple say ‘not our fault!’

September 3rd, 2014 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

fap 300x217 Fappening: Apple say not our fault!The recent ‘fappening’ – or if you prefer, all those nudey photos of celebrities that suddenly appeared online this week – will have either seen you explode with fury, ejaculate or boredom.

What of the security of our cloud accounts? And don’t worry, Daily Mail readers, we’re not talking about an actual cloud in the sky.

Well, Apple have peered out of the mess and conjecture and said that, while the celebrities’ iCloud accounts were “compromised”, there’s nothing wrong with the system as a whole.

In a statement released yesterday, they said that hackers stole private photographs from accounts using “a very targeted attack on user names, passwords, and security questions”.

“None of the cases we have investigated has resulted from any breach in any of Apple’s systems including iCloud or Find my iPhone. We are continuing to work with law enforcement to help identify the criminals involved.”

So, in short, Apple are saying that, unless you’re an attractive famous person, you shouldn’t worry that anyone will come after you for your personal photos.

The FBI have said that they’re looking for the original hacker. If they find them, everyone knows that it won’t stop people trying to get all up in the business of famous people.

And furthermore, even if hackers or whatever don’t go after people’s things, no-one should worry about personal privacy because we collectively don’t have any to begin with, if we’re online.